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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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The Council of Europe demonstrates double standards in relation to Ukraine

On October 25, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Dmytro Razumkov during his speech to the representatives of the Council of Europe noted that in 2019 Ukraine was able to prove to the international community its ability to hold democratic elections, as well as to involve Ukrainian citizens in the processes of the state, special attention is paid to the younger generation. "In 2019, global changes have taken place in Ukraine, which became possible thanks to free and democratic elections. Our team has received a significant credit of trust from Ukrainian citizens. Ukraine has demonstrated that the broad involvement of citizens, especially young people in the political life of the state is possible," Razumkov said. Also, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada reported on the summing up of the first 50 days of the Ukrainian Parliament, during which representatives of the new Ukrainian authorities were able to lay the necessary legal groundwork for further reforms by the new government of Ukraine.

Dmytro Razumkov stressed in his speech Ukraine's concern on the part of Ukrine about the effectiveness of key bodies of the Council of Europe due to the abolition of the right to impose effective sanctions on states that are members of the organization, which violate their obligations, as well as conduct of a systematic and purposeful policy of disregard for human rights. "Double standards, unfortunately sometimes become part of the daily decision-making process in the Council of Europe, calls into question the values of this Organization",  the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament said in his speech in Strasbourg. Razumkov in his speech explained the refusal to participate in the session of the Council of Europe of the permanent delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Ukrainian delegation by its refusal protested against the return of the Russian delegation to PACE without the implementation of any of the seven resolutions of the Organization on the ongoing armed aggression against Ukraine. "This decision is a reaction to the total and systematic violation of human rights by the aggressor in the temporarily occupied territories. Moreover, the situation with the powers of the Ukrainian delegation has created a dangerous precedent, the consequences of which are difficult to predict," Razumkov said.

In addition, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada noted that the Council of Europe passively treats human rights violations, in particular, in the Russian Federation. "Ukraine is concerned that the Organization does not respond well to the current trends of human rights violations in some states, in particular, in Russia. Although it was the protection of human rights, together with access to justice of the European court of human rights, that were the main arguments in favor of the return of the Russian delegation. Our state, together with other states, is not ready to put up with attempts to discredit the authority of the Council of Europe," Razumkov said in his speech.

Dmitry Razumkov called on the EU countries to profess principles and consistency, as well as to strive for the establishment of international law as a value. "The territorial ambitions of individual member states cast a shadow on the peaceful future of our peoples. Historical opportunities to strengthen peace and stability on the continent are lost every time, " the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said. Razumkov stressed in his speech at the European conference of presidents of parliaments of the Council of Europe member states that "the foundation of Europe for the next 70 years should be the concept of democratic security by implementing the principles laid down in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights". "Without democratic values, there can be no stable Europe. Disregard for human rights generates aggression, which is dangerous for the whole world, " Razumkov said.[1]

Already on September 26, it became known from correspondence between the staff of the PACE and Verkhovna Rada secretariats that the Ukrainian delegation may be deprived of the right to be present in the hall of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe during the autumn session. The new delegation of Ukraine to PACE was formed last week in the Verkhovna Rada, and it was immediately announced that it will not take part in the autumn session. At that time, the Council noted that the representatives of the old delegation retain the right to participate in the work of the session in accordance with the usual practice of the Assembly. However, the new delegation received a letter of explanation from the PACE Secretariat, which questioned the powers of the old delegation.

A member of the delegation, Member of Parliament, Oleksiy Honcharenko in a comment to the "European truth" confirmed that such a letter was indeed. On his Facebook page, Honcharenko also said that " if Ukraine this week does not send a new delegation to PACE, then due to the fact that a new delegation has been created, which is reflected on the Verkhovna Rada website, the old delegation at 11.30 am on September 30 will lose its powers, and the new one will not join. That is, Ukraine will not have any delegation in PACE." It is not yet known whether the position of the Secretariat will be implemented, because according to the rules of the Organization, it is necessary to submit the list of the delegation to PACE within six months after the parliamentary elections. That is the previous composition loses powers on January 21. Publications on the websites of government agencies are not legally valid. The Verkhovna Rada had to inform PACE officially about the approval of the delegation. The interlocutors of "European truth" in the Parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  claim that Ukraine did not send such a message. If the PACE Secretariat achieve the intentions and deprives Ukraine of the current delegation, the deputies will still be able to come to PACE at the invitation of colleagues from other delegations, but in this case, Ukrainian MPs will not be able to participate in the committees, be present in the hall at the plenary session and ask questions to the speakers.[2]

Thus, due to Russia's dominance in the Council of Europe, there is now an information and political and diplomatic attack on Ukraine. The Council of Europe is increasingly losing ground and betraying its own values, bowing to the whims of Russia. In addition, the elite of the Council of Europe continues to justify that Russia's presence in PACE is absolutely normal, especially since Russia has already fully paid the long-awaited debt to the PACE. Obviously, that Ukraine cannot accept such a situation and does not want to allow PACE to finally discredit itself.